I used a stove-top espresso maker for years. I felt so cultured each time I'd spoon in the ground coffee and hear the coffee spurting and bubbling. To use one of these, you fill the bottom container with water, spoon coffee or espresso into the container, screw on the top, and set it on the burner of a stove. A pressurizing process causes the water to move through the coffee and into the upper compartment where it's ready to be served. You have to have a watchful eye and be careful not to let your coffee burn.